One of the features I really liked in Windows 8/8.1 was the ability to sync the layout of my Start Screen between devices that used the same Microsoft Account. Right alongside of that feature there was also the ability to install an app on one device and then have that app show up on other machines that used the same Microsoft Account.
The app sync was very handy because for most of us if we are going to use an app on one device we are most likely going to use it on our other ones. Once it was installed on one machine all you had to do was go to the All Apps screen on your other devices and tap on the tile to begin the download/install.
New apps also appeared on all of your Start Screens if you placed a tile for that application there and you could also easily install it with a single tap on the tile as you used other devices.
Unfortunately, I have confirmed with a Microsoft spokesperson that both of these features are being deprecated in Windows 10.
“With Windows 8.1 and initial Windows 10 feedback we found that customers typically want to personalize the Start layout to match the device they are using. With the new Windows Store, scalability of universal Windows apps is fully supported across all of your devices. This means that customers can get their apps and settings available across all of their devices and still create custom Start tile layouts that make the most sense for each device and screen size.”
I mentioned the lack of these features yesterday in my 8 Days to Windows 10 article where I talked about how Windows 10 is changing our computing experience in Windows.
The reasons behind the Start Screen tile layout make a lot of sense because there are now so many different sized devices that will be running Windows 10 compared to Windows 8/8.1.
A Start Screen layout that looks good on a 14 inch device will look quite disorganized on a 7 or 8 inch tablet because groupings of tiles will overflow just like text in a word processor does when you resize the program window.
However, removing the synching of apps you install between devices does not make as much sense.
It should be no problem to have that entry appear in the All Apps list on any device and single tap to install the app on each one. Again, the likely hood of someone using the same app across multiple devices is very strong and by making it easy to sync those installs across those devices it would be very convenient.
I guess telemetry might have shown Microsoft that the synching of app installs on Windows 8/8.1 were only used by a small number of people. However, in a testing program that has been very public about changes from Windows 8/8.1 to 10 it is interesting that this was not addressed in some way.
Did you use either of these features and would you like to see at least the App installation sync make it into Windows 10?